ISSN 1188-603X

No. 355 January 10, 2006 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


Botany BC 2006 will take place from Thursday May 18th though Sunday May 21st at Quaaout Resort and Conference Center, Chase, B.C. Details coming soon at

If you want more information on Quaaout Resort and Conference Centre go to

Contact Elizabeth Easton to be included on a distribution list for notification of program and registration postings on the Botany BC website.

BOTANY BC is an annual meeting of botanists and plant enthusiasts of British Columbia and is open to anyone interested in plants regardless of sex, race, nationality, citizenship, religion and whatever else. Although BOTANY BC meetings are focused to British Columbia, we welcome all the plant enthusiasts from the neighbouring provinces/states, and from elsewhere in the world. Please note, the Roberts Rules of Order and guns are not permitted on our meetings.


Pekka Pakarinen, P.O. Box 65, Dept. Biol. and Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, FI-00014, Finland []

Muskeg - an old native word has been used especially in Canada and Alaska referring to "a kind of bog or marsh containing thick layers of decaying vegetable matter, mosses, etc." (Guralnik 1984). During the earlier phases of Canadian peatland exploration, muskeg was commonly applied as a blanket term for organic, peaty terrain, and the Muskeg Research Institute was active at the University of New Brunswick in 1960s (Radforth and Brawner 1973).

In the Alaska vegetation classification (Viereck et al. 1992), muskeg is mentioned referring to "a black spruce woodland with a thick mat of mosses, generally Sphagnum spp. underlain by peat". One example in interior Alaska, corresponding to this definition, is Black Spruce Dwarf Tree Woodland (Picea mariana/Ledum decumbens/Sphagnum vegetation, Webber et al. 1978 cited in Viereck et al. 1992).

When introducing the vegetation of the Pacific Northwest, Pojar and MacKinnon (1994) use the term muskeg for "a complex mosaic of fens, bogs, pools, streams, exposed rock and scrubby forest that is widespread over the north coastal lowlands and foothills" (northern coastal B.C. and southeastern Alaska). This is a large-scale definition of an oceanic forest-wetland complex, apparently different from the black spruce dominated peatland vegetation of continental regions in boreal North America.

The Canadian Wetland classification system (Warner and Rubec 1997) as well as the recent overviews and special studies from British Columbia (MacKenzie and Moran 2004), Alberta (Whitehouse and Bayley 2005) and Manitoba (Locky et al. 2005) all utilize the ecological wetland classes bog, fen, swamp and marsh.

Clearly "muskeg" remains a traditional, Algonquin peatland term which may have narrow or wide definitions. The landscape-level definition of Pojar and MacKinnon (1994) reminds us of the need to view and study wetlands and peatlands also as large vegetation complexes.

Literature cited

Guralnik, D.B. (ed.) 1984:
Webster's New World Dictionary. New York, 1692 p.
Locky, D.A., Bayley, S.E. and Vitt, D.H. 2005.
The vegetational ecology of black spruce swamps, fens, and bogs in southern boreal Manitoba, Canada. Wetlands 25: 564-582.
Mackenzie, W.H. and Moran, J.R. 2004.
Wetlands of British Columbia. Land Management Handbook 52, B.C. Ministry of Forests, 287 p.
Pojar, J. and MacKinnon, A. 1994.
Plants of coastal British Columbia, including Washington, Oregon and Alaska. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, and Lone Pine Publishing. Victoria & Edmonton. 526 p.
Radforth, N.W. and Brawner, C.O. 1973:
Muskeg and the northern environment in Canada. Univ. Toronto Press, Toronto. 399 p.
Viereck, L.A., Dyrness, C.T., Batten, A.R. and Wenzlick, K.J. 1992.
The Alaska Vegetation Classification. U.S. Dept. Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Res. Station PNW-GTR-286. Oregon. 278 p.
Warner, B.G. and Rubec, C.D.A. 1997.
The Canadian Wetland Classification System. 2nd ed., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario. 68 p.
Whitehouse, H.E. and Bayley, S. 2005.
Vegetation patterns and biodiversity of peatland plant communities surrounding mid-boreal wetland ponds in Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Botany 83: 621-637.


From: Roy L. Taylor, Ph.D., botanist - Lantzville BC, Canada
Hall, Bonnie. 2005.
Ever Blooming: The Art of Bonnie Hall. Edited by James D. Hall, Foreword by Robert Michael Pyle. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon. 104 p. ISBN 0-87071-116-4 [hardcover] Price: US$25.00

Available in bookstores or by calling 1-800-426-3797

This is a unique art book published by the Oregon State University Press. One can become completely enraptured with the both the botanical art elegantly displayed and the story of the artist as written by her husband Jim Hall. Bonnie Hall, a native Oregonian, was a graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her husband to be, Jim Hall in 1953. They were married in Milwaukie, Oregon in 1955. She began her career as a scientific illustrator at the University of Michigan Museum, later joining the Department of Entomology at Oregon State University where she worked for thirty years. She and Jim Hall, Professor Emeritus of Fisheries at Oregon State University were married for forty-eight years. She died of cancer in February 2004 and did not see the finished product of her efforts as a book that was carefully shepherded through the printing phase by her husband Jim.

The main body of the book contains 38 full colour plates (32 plants, 5 insects, and 1 plant + insect). Each plate has an opposing page of text about the plant or insect written by Bonnie Hall.

The foreword by Robert Michael Pyle sets the tone for the reader as you move through the preface and into the main body of Ever Blooming. Robert Pyle clearly appreciates the role that artists play in conveying the beauty of nature through their various artistic endeavours.

Jim Hall follows in his preface to provide the background of a remarkable woman, his partner and best friend. Bonnie had a remarkable career in biological illustration, but one gets the impression, that it was the flowers in the field that really provided the stimulus for her elegant botanical presentations. Jim Hall takes time to explain the detailed methodology his wife employed in the producing her 'Scientific Serigraphs.' It is a difficult and delicate process to produce a screen print, a process Bonnie Hall mastered.

As an ardent collector of Henry Evans botanical prints, I have a great admiration for the work of Bonnie Hall. She has left a wonderful legacy of the plants of the Cascadia and has brought much joy to those who love the special plant communities of Oregon. For those who would like a definition of Cascadia, see discussion on page 13 of The Butterflies of Cascadia by Robert Michael Pyle published by the Seattle Audubon Society in 2002.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in our environment of the Cascadian region. It is wonderfully refreshing look at plants and insects and Bonnie Hall has provided an interesting treatise for each of her prints. The book is to be savoured and the memories of her life treasured, as is her legacy of the illustrators of our rich natural heritage!

Send submissions to
BEN is archived at